Automotive Service Association (ASA) president Ron Pyle reports that ASRW featured 237 exhibiting companies, with 43 new exhibitors and 16,652 attendees this year. “By all standards and measurements, ASRW 2012 was a successful event,” said Pyle. “We continue to adjust the content and activities to best meet the needs of today’s repair professional. And we’re pleased with the recent news that our Orlando event earned ASRW a spot on TSNN’s “Fastest 50” list of trade shows. The industry continues to support our decision to rotate the show around the country, and we look forward to delivering an even stronger show next fall in Las Vegas.”
Bobby Likis, nationally syndicated car-talk host of “Bobby Likis Car Clinic,” was very pleased to be part of this year’s event with other new exhibitors for the show. “ASRW is a must-attend for automotive service technicians and shop owners who want to proactively deliver best-of practices and products to their customers,” said Likis. “Car Clinic, Ricardo Engineering (designers of the Extreme Boost Direct Injection [EBDI] engine) and the Renewable Fuels Association (the voice of American ethanol producers) were all first-time exhibitors at CARS 2012.”
ASRW 2013 is scheduled for Oct. 16-19 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
This edition of “The Ethanol Report” features comments from Automotive Service Association president Ron Pyle, RFA Director of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis, Ricardo Chief Engineer Powertrain Controls Dr. Matti Vint, and automotive talk show host Bobby Likis.
A panel consisting of an automotive technician, an automotive engineer and an ethanol industry representative had the opportunity to bust some myths about ethanol at the National Automotive Service Task Force meeting in New Orleans on Saturday.
Renewable Fuels Association Director of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis, Ricardo Chief Engineer for powertrain controls Dr. Matti Vint, and automotive talk show host/service center owner Bobby Likis each addressed one myth about ethanol related to the vehicle industry.
Vint busted the myth that ethanol ruins engine performance by detailing the benefits of the fuel’s higher octane rating, which is a measure of its anti-knock properties. “The higher octane, the higher the cylinder pressure you can operate without causing destructive damage to the engine,” he said. “So high octane is good for extracting the maximum performance of the engine and improving the efficiency.” He explained how designing engines like the Ricardo EBDI (Extreme Boost Direct Injection) engine will better utilize ethanol’s higher octane rating.
Likis busted the myth that ethanol poses repair and service problems. “In the 41 years I’ve been in the automotive service business, I’ve never had a single engine fail as a result of ethanol,” he said, noting that engines have been designed to run on E10 for the past 30 years.
Finally, Davis busted the myth that consumers don’t want choice at the pump. “A recent survey complete by American Viewpoint showed 61% were in favor of replacing imported fossil fuel dependency with renewable fuels like ethanol,” Davis said, pointing out that the approval of E15 allows more options for model year 2001 and newer vehicles.
Automotive talk show host and Pensacola service center owner Bobby Likis uses a tag line that plays on his last name – “Like us? You’ll love us!” And Likis doesn’t just like ethanol, he loves it and he lives it.
The whole event is coordinated through the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and president Ron Pyle says having the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) as part of it this year was a great addition. “People understand the reality that we’re going to be dealing with alternative fuels and different technologies,” said Pyle. “Our organization really represents the top echelon of the shops in America today … they’ve very interested in this kind of content.”
Pyle said it was also the first time that Bobby Likis Car Clinic was at the event broadcasting live from the trade show. “Bobby is a long time Automotive Service Association member,” said Pyle. “He spent quite a bit of time with me earlier this year talking about the myths (about ethanol) that he’s going to bust while he’s here and on the show floor they’ve been doing that every day.”
Ricardo engineering rounded out the ethanol education team at the event showing new engine technology under development that can optimize the high octane properties of ethanol as the industry moves toward increased fuel efficiency. “The people that are ready for that revolution will absolutely have a competitive edge,” Pyle said.
Ricardo Chief Engineer for Innovations and Chemical Technology John Kasab was one of the company representatives who presented information at the exhibit and on the Bobby Likis Car Clinic Network broadcasts from the show. During his presentation at the booth, Kasab talked about Ricardo’s history in the automotive realm and how “everything old is new again” when it comes to alternative fuels. “Three key automotive inventors from about a century ago – Henry Ford with Ford Motor Company, Charles Kettering with General Motors and Harry Ricardo our founder – all anticipated depletion of petroleum reserves,” said Kasab. “Henry Ford was thinking about making (fuel) from crops that will help sustain rural economies.” Kettering was thinking about saving the auto industry from oil shortages and Ricardo’s interest was in energy security, especially since he was British, and Kasab noted that all of them also saw the potential of ethanol for anti-knock properties.
Kasab says federal and state regulations calling for dramatically increased fuel economy for vehicles, as well as the Renewable Fuel Standard requiring more alternative fuel use, means a great need for engines optimized to run on fuels other than gasoline in the future. “Over the next decade, we’re going to see a lot of new technology coming into internal combustion engines to significantly improve their efficiency,” he said. “The technologies that are going to facilitate this efficiency improvement will have a natural thirst for higher octane and we see increased ethanol content in the fuel as part of the pathway toward facilitating better engine performance.”
To that end, Ricardo developed the EBDI – Extreme Boost Direct Injection Engine – which we will learn more about from other members of the Ricardo team who attended the CARS event.
RFA Director of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis has been representing the ethanol industry at the event, talking with car mechanics and technicians and being interviewed by Bobby Likis for his Car Clinic Network television show. Davis just started with RFA on September 1, but she is no stranger to the ethanol industry. “My background’s 30 years in corn processing,” she said. “I’ve actually been producing ethanol since 1981.”
Davis has been talking up ethanol at the CARS expo and finding that mechanics have some of the same general misconceptions the industry has fought for 30 years and that is why they wanted to speak to this audience. “A mechanic is a very trusted person with your car,” she said. “We’re here to educate them.”
She, Likis and Ricardo representatives will be addressing a targeted group on Saturday with a panel devoted to “busting myths” about ethanol. Likis is global casting his Car Clinic Network program live from the expo on Saturday, October 12, from 10 am to 12 noon Eastern time.